The Guardian July 14, 1999


Plan to use Australia as nuclear waste dump not dead

The notorious US consortium Pangea Resources is still pushing ahead with 
its plan to turn Australia into a world nuclear waste dump. Despite the 
Federal Government's assurances that the issue is dead, Pangea recently 
announced that it is planning to set up its office in Western 
Australia.

Richard Court, WA Premier, publicly declared that Western Australia would 
not have a nuclear dump in a "blue fit". Nevertheless, as we all know only 
too well, politicians have their own agendas and what is good for 
multinational interests may be twisted to be "good" for Australians as 
well, to paraphrase a well-known big-business sentiment.

Greenpeace has already declared its intention to set up its own office in 
Western Australia to monitor the situation while locals, namely the Anti-
Uranium Coalition of WA, are determined to prevent the obscene project 
going ahead.

The Guardian spoke to the Coalition spokesperson in WA.

The company is transferring its offices from Kew in Melbourne, to Perth. It 
has been holding most of its board meetings in WA.

Pangea has already made the evaluation of economic benefits for WA, of a 
nuclear waste dump.

They have been working on the ground in WA at two potential locations. One 
is at Savoury Basin which is very near Newman, in the north-west of the 
State; and the other one is near Laverton, at a location called the Officer 
Basin.

They are both part of the geological zone which Pangea identified in their 
promotional video as being `suitable' for nuclear waste.

While the Government, Labor Opposition, Democrats and Greens have all said 
they oppose the dump, the Greens are the only group to put forward 
legislation to prohibit the establishment of the dump.

They are still to receive any support for it.

There is clearly support for the idea in Liberal Party ranks.

The Coalition know that the Deputy Premier met with them at an official 
level and that the Premier's senior adviser (now working as an independent 
consultant) met with them on two occasions.

Colin Barnett, an aspirant for the Premiership, said there is a need to 
evaluate in depth the Pangea proposal.

Federal MP Ross Lightfoot has supported it and Wilson Tuckey met with 
Pangea and ran foul of Parliament with misleading information.

About 83 per cent of West Australians are against anything to do with 
nuclear waste. In the eastern states the figure is 93 per cent.

Pangea's plans are still alive but with the persistent and united effort of 
all those opposed to the dump, the plan, not the nuclear waste will be 
buried in WA.

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